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Pokémon Scarlet and Violet’s Charizard raid is back, and you’ll need a strategy to beat it

Watch out, this Charizard has a dragon Tera Type

A crystalized Charizard with a dragon crown on its head, in a dark cave. Image: Game Freak/The Pokémon Company, Nintendo

Pokémon Scarlet and Violet’s first seven-star raid, featuring Charizard with the dragon Tera Type, is live, running through Sunday. Not only is it the first seven-star raid, but it’s the only way, so far, to get Charizard in Pokémon Scarlet and Violet’s Paldea region.

The black crystal Charizard raid initially appeared in the beginning of December 2022, but is back. It’ll run from Thursday, Dec. 15, through Sunday, Dec. 18. While you can only catch one Charizard per game, you can do the raid multiple times. You’ll get one raid in your own game per day, but you can do it as many times as you want by joining other players’ raids via the Poké Portal. After this period, it’s unclear if the raid will come back.

The Charizard nabbed in these raids will be Lv. 100 and have the Mightiest Mark, designating that it was caught in a seven-star raid. It will also have Solar Power, Charizard’s hidden ability; perfect base stats; and the modest nature, which is ideal for Charizard. The rewards for the raid are really good, too, which is why it’s worth doing more than once. You’ll get a bunch of Calcium, the vitamin used to raise special attack EVs, as well as a chance to earn the incredibly rare Ability Patch, which changes a Pokémon’s ability to its hidden one (and vice versa).

You can find your own Charizard raid marked on the Paldea map with a pink outline, like the six-star raids. If you’re not seeing the Charizard raid crystal showing up on your map, connect to the internet. (Don’t worry; you don’t need a Nintendo Switch Online subscription to do the raid.) You’ll have to load up the Tera Raid Battles menu via the Poké Portal to try it more than once per day; you can either do this with friends as they host their own daily raids or with strangers online.

Seven-star raids will only open up to players that have unlocked six-star raids after completing parts of the postgame. But people who haven’t done that aren’t out of luck: They can join these raids via multiplayer groups or link codes.

One of the best strategies for the seven-star Charizard raid is running it with an optimized, high-level Azumarill, a fairy- and water-type. Because this Charizard has the dragon Tera Type, it’s weak to fairy-type moves; additionally, Azumarill resists Charizard’s fire-type attacks, thanks to its water typing.

As with six-star raids, we recommend using Azumarill with the Huge Power ability, investing in its HP and attack stats, and giving it a Sitrus Berry to hold so it can heal itself once during the raid. It needs to know the move Belly Drum, which takes half the user’s max HP and maximizes its attack stat in exchange; you can teach your Azumarill Belly Drum via the new Egg Move method using the Mirror Herb item. After using Belly Drum in the raid, you’ll then want to use Play Rough, a fairy-type physical attack, to hit Charizard for supereffective damage. When it comes time to Terastallize, you’ll want your Azumarill to have the fairy Tera Type in order to further boost the power of Play Rough.

As with any raid, be sure to take the time to cheer in order to heal yourself and your teammates. It’s also a good idea to do the “Hang tough!” cheer to boost your team’s defense and special defense stats, since this Charizard hits hard. (It knows Overheat, Fire Blast, Hurricane, Sunny Day, and some dragon-type moves that won’t affect Azumarill; it doesn’t know Solar Beam, so you’re safe!) You can also teach your Azumarill Rain Dance to counteract Charizard’s Sunny Day boost to its fire-type attacks, but a word of caution: Hurricane, a flying-type special attack, always hits in rain.

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